Today sugar has become the new health villain, and with good reasons. Sugar has made its way into almost everything we eat, and there are more than enough health problems (and scientific evidence) to go around to seriously consider cutting down on sugar.
One of the main concerns and well-known reasons is that too much sugar will lead to gain weight, which can cause obesity, and raise cancer risk.
The high-sugar foods and drinks increase inflammation in your body and may cause insulin resistance, which means big trouble. Yes, “insulin resistance”. So what does that awkward term mean?
To gain some valuable insight here, let’s first explain what glucose, insuline and finally insuline resistance are, so you know what kind of things are happening inside your body.
INSIDE THE BODY
“Glucose” is a type of sugar that comes from the foods you eat, and it’s the main source of energy that your body uses. As it travels through the bloodstream to all your cells, we call it blood glucose (blood sugar).
“Insulin” is a hormone produced and released by the pancreas and tells the cell doors to open up to let the glucose in, so it moves glucose from your blood into your muscle, fat, and liver cells, where it’s then used for energy and storage. The insulin makes sure your blood sugar levels remain steady.
“Insulin resistance”, is when your body becomes insensitive to the effects of insulin, which means the cell doors won’t open, and the glucose will have trouble getting into the cell.
This forces the pancreas to work overtime to produce more insulin, because the body’s cells are “resistant” to the effects of insulin.
Even with the extra production of insuline, the cell doors still won’t open and don’t let enough of the glucose into the cells. The problem is, the extra glucose stays in the bloodstream, causing high blood glucose levels, and high blood glucose for a long period of time can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes, brain and other organs.
The use of too much sugar, refined sugar, products with hidden added sugars along with refined carbs (white flour, white bread, white rice, cereals and pastas), allow the surges in your blood sugar levels to build up “visceral fat storage”.
This is the body fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity, that is being wrapped around vital internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines, which is another high risk factor.
CHALLENGES & BENEFITS
For me personally it’s all about energy balance. Foods and drinks that are high in sugar but seem healthy (fruit smoothies, granola, iced tea, sport drinks and protein bars) and especially refined sugars in sweets, cookies, and bars lead to a quick temporary sugar high followed by a steep crash that will soon drain your overal energy level.
I want to avoid that and keep my energy levels at a constant level as much as possible, so I keep my productive and blissful spirit alive throughout the entire day.Continue Reading